Project Summary

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Creation of an Automation & Conversion Tool for Publishing

Developed conversion and automation tools to convert textbooks to various formats

Project Problem

McDougal Littell is a publisher of high-school and middle-school textbooks. In addition to the textbooks and their supplements, McDougal Littell offers workbooks and teacher's aides in CD-ROM form.

McDougal Littell's process for creating their CD-ROM product was quite lengthy. The person assigned to this project was required to manually extract content from QuarkXpress, rename it, and convert it to a PDF file. This process was repeated for thousands of files per book, making the conversion process last 6-8 weeks for one full-time employee. In addition, quality control was an issue as each file name was individually typed. The length of time it took to create these PDF files caused serious production delays.

Project Solution

Great Arc developed a conversion and automation tool called PDF Manager, allowing for better quality assurance, and a much shorter project length of 2-5 days, compared to the 6-8 weeks that was required to accomplish the same task manually. PDF Manager automates several processes including file naming, quality control, and attaching large sets of PDF documents together. The file naming automation allows the user to embed Unit, Chapter, and page numbers, along with any other file components. The QC tool scrolls through a large number of files in one folder, allowing the user to check both the appearance of the document and the accuracy of the file name. When a large number of PDF documents need to be attached, Batch Attach gives the user the ability to put their file names in order and automatically attach them into one document.



  • Visual Basic
  • QuarkXpress
  • Adobe Acrobat